Chapter 26 - The Phone Call
I closed my eyes for a moment, trying to ease away the burning sensation I was feeling behind them. I woken up at 4:30 in the morning today, if it was assumed to be morning and had been working on all the math problems since then. Wow! What a Sunday, it was this week, I mused, raking my hand through my hair. Aside from getting up for breakfast, and then later for lunch, I had been sitting here on this table with my eyes glued to the questions I was solving since around more than thirteen hours now. And God did my back hurt?
Amelia was busy preparing for tomorrow’s exam too. We had texted each other a couple of times by now since she woke up.
Stretching my back, I realized what a big mistake it was. Pain shot in my broken ribs causing me to bend forwards almost immediately, clutching my chest where it ached until the pain turned its level back to a bearable limit. I hid the small amount of pain that I still felt skillfully when I was at Amelia’s home yesterday. My ribs seemed to be healing properly now and the painkillers were doing their job. Even the wound in my arm started healing. I was due on a medical checkup tomorrow after the exam.
Feeling slightly dizzy after straightening up from the nearly crouched position I was in, I forced myself to write Sol.47 in the margin of my notebook and began reading the problem. I was halfway through it, when I heard my mom yelling something at me from downstairs.
"What Mom?" I shouted back, unable to understand a single word she said.
"I said, I am going to the airport to get your Dad," she shouted back, now coming close to the stairs.
"Okay," I replied.
Damn! I totally forgot that Dad was coming back today. He didn't yet talk to me after my previous result. And I didn’t know what he will say. Mom said that he was giving me another chance with these exams, but he might get angry at me for what I did last time. I had promised him good marks, and well, these marks that I have got are quite close to the 6 F’s that he talked about I will be receiving before he left.
"We will be back at around 8," mom shouted, breaking my chain of thoughts.
"Okay Mom," I heard the front door close after a while the engine of Mom’s car started.
It was hard for me to concentrate upon the math problem at this time, so I got up and went down to drink some water. Times like this... when I had been alone at home, I used to call my friends, puffed up some joint, and did all that a druggie would do. But now, I was a changed person, standing there with a glass of water in my hand instead of a bottle of cheap beer. I slowly made my way up to my room and settled myself back in the seat. After 3 minutes of effort, I was eventually done with problem no. 47 and was proceeding onto 48th when my phone buzzed flashing -
Beautiful - 3 new messages
3 messages? I unlocked the screen and opened the message thread.
'Hey hawtie! How much have you covered?’
'Hello. Knock-Knock! Is anyone there?’
'Jacob? Sleeping, are you?’
I quickly typed my reply and sent it to her.
'No beautiful, I am here. I just went down to drink some water, so missed your first two messages.’
'Ok! How much course have you completed?’
'More than half, I am done with Algebra. Just stuck up with trigonometry exercises right now, how much have you covered?’
'I am almost done now. Just 20 more problems left to be solved.’
'Wow! Good, I have at least got around 40 more to cover.:(’
'Aww! Why the sad face?’
'I am tired.’
'So am I. Wanna talk?’
'We are talking beautiful.’
'I mean on the phone stupid.’
'Well, we are talking over the phone stupid. :P’ I teased, now understanding what she meant by the word talk.
'I am calling you,’ I got her reply.
'No no no no no…’ Just as I sent it, my phone rang displaying I was receiving a call from her.
I thought about it for a second and then rejected her call.
'Why not?’ I received her reply as I was calling her back. She picked up my phone on the fourth ring. I had never heard her voice on phone and anticipation of how her voice will sound over the phone was killing me until she picked it.
"Why didn’t you pick up my phone?" Were the first words I heard from her on the phone in her honey-coated voice.
"You realize this is the first time we are talking over phone, right?" I said.
"Oh!" She murmured taken aback and realizes it now after I said it, "I didn’t think about it." She said now with nervousness in her voice, the confident tone that was present in her voice when she picked up the phone long gone now.
"Nervous?" I asked.
"Yeah," came her soft response.
"What are you doing?" I said trying to get her back to talk.
"Ammm… Nothing, just taking a break."
"So…. Did Richard say anything after I left?" I asked in an attempt to divert her mind a bit.
"If you count the teasing winks he’s been given me since then as saying something then yeah, he said quite a lot of it." I could feel her smiling as she said that. Wow! I never knew we could see emotions through phone, but it felt great hearing her smile.
I chuckled briefly at her reply, "How’s your mom coping up now?"
"She has hugged me once in the morning, but that had been it for the time being. I think she has finally realized the fact that I am safe now. How’s your mom?"
"She’s good, went to airport to receive Dad."
"And how’s your dog?"
"What dog?" I asked confused.
"The Labrador pup, I encountered when I went to your home to fetch your books. And really, that was really bad of you to not warn me about him because I am scared of dogs."
"But I don’t have a dog," I got confused more by the minute.
"You don’t? But I did see him."
"Oh no, my neighbor might have gone for that weekend somewhere and she has a habit of leaving her pets with us whenever she is out. I am sorry Amelia, I didn’t know about that."
"What do you mean by PETS?" She said exaggerating the last word to make me know that the word mattered more than the whole sentence that she had just spoken.
"Umm… A German shepherd, a cat, and from what you said a Labrador too now," I said carefully.
"A German shepherd, a-a dog, like a really big dog," she babbled.
"I am sorry, I didn’t know that they would be home as I was in the hospital."
"Jacob they might have - what’s the right word - attacked me. They might have attacked me."
"I am sorry beautiful, but they both are really old, they hardly get up from their place when someone goes home."
"I consider myself lucky then," she replied, her tone still engulfed in the fear of possibly getting attacked by them that night.
"I am sorry Amelia."
"It’s okay Jacob. You didn’t know."
"Hmm," I replied still feeling a bit guilty about that.
"Jacob… I wanted to talk to you about something," she hesitated.
"I am listening," I replied in concern as to what could be that serious to even match the tone of her voice.
"Tomorrow is our exam, I mean we will be going to the school, and…" She left off midway not able to complete her sentence.
"And what Amelia?" I asked worried.
"Well, how will we, I mean what will we, Argggghhh… it’s hard than I thought," she said irritated at herself.
"Imeanwhatareweandwhatarewegoingtotelleveryoneelseatschool." She said something so fast that it sounded as the longest word that I have ever heard.
"I am sorry Amelia, I didn’t quite catch you there."
"Argggghhh," she groaned, "Don’t make me say it again Jacob."
"Just once more beautiful, please?" I requested.
"Humph," she replied and I waited patiently for her to build up her courage once again.
"I said, what are we and - what will we tell everyone else at school, only if you want to tell them, of course, which I won’t mind if you wouldn’t want to because I can understand you might have your reasons and-"
"We are couple Amelia. We are in a relationship." I said firmly cutting off her babbling or I fear she might have gone on and on about it, which I might have liked too because it was the longest she had spoken till now.
"I love you Jacob," she whispered, beating me to it.
"I love you too Amelia," I replied happy as we exchanged our first 'I Love You-s' over the phone. "I just felt my heart slowing and then kicking up again. I don’t know if that’s what skipping a beat feels like, but I felt that."
"You felt it too?" She asked, her enthusiasm pouring down the receiver of my phone letting me know that I wasn’t the only one feeling strangely.
"Yeah beautiful I did. I love you beautiful."
"I love you too hawtie," I chuckled at that and imagined her cheeks going red, which I was sure was happening on the other end of the phone as it got perfectly quiet over there.
"And, I will be honored to tell everyone about us tomorrow beautiful, if you let me," I said, a bit uncertainty creeping into my voice as I added the last part of my sentence and waited for her reply.
"I will feel the same Jacob," she replied calmly and I released the breath I had been holding.
"Thank you," I said, as my racing heart slowed its pace down.
"For letting me love you, as much as I love you Amelia," I said feeling the words from deep within my heart.
A long silence was her reply to my confession. Just the sound of her breathing was enough to tell me, that I had struck a chord with her. Another few seconds rolled by, before she said, "My pleasure," and giggled after that causing me to chuckle.
"I love you too Jacob. I have loved you for a long time I suppose, more than the time I had been aware of my feelings for you." She said in a tone that melted my heart right then and there.
This time the lovely silence engulfed the conversation from my side as I replayed the words she said to me in my mind.
"Umm, Jacob?" She asked breaking the silence which I know will never get awkward between us.
"How are your injuries? Will you need a writer for tomorrow?"
"No, I guess I will be able to write on my own. I have been solving problems on paper all day now. The hand and chest are just a bit sore. Nothing to worry about."
"You don’t have to think what you are thinking beautiful."
"And what’s that?"
"That it’s your fault that I am injured."
"It is actually, isn’t it?" She said confirming my doubt about her thoughts.
"No Amelia, it’s not. It's nobody’s fault." Other than that bastard, I thought but kept that to myself, I didn’t want to remind her of him.
"I am sorry Jacob," her apologetic tone pinched my heart.
"Beautiful, please I love you. And I am absolutely OK. My chest has already started healing and the cut is only a small scar by now. A few more days and we won’t even remember what happened, OK?"
"Hmm," she replied and I understood that making her look at the situation from my perspective was highly unlikely right now. But I knew, with time she won’t feel guilty about it on her own.
"Why did you reject my call initially?" She asked after a small empty yet sweet moment.
"Umm, I really don’t know," I said honestly.
"But there must have been a reason for it."
"Well, a thought did run through my mind at that time," I paused to recollect that minute of time, "I think at that time, that being a guy I need to be the one to call you, I guess?" I said as my own reason sounded lame to me.
"That’s a-" she paused.
"Lame reason, I know," I said completing her sentence. "But I just feel that way, maybe. I guess, I'm a bit old-fashioned in that sense."
"A bit, I guess," she said as I recognized her smile while she said it. "Well, I think, we should get back to studying now. We still have a lot many questions to solve."
"Yeah, I have got double the amount of yours," I whined getting a laugh from her in return.
"Well, little guy, you better start solving them then."
"Little guy, huh?" My fake egoistic voice caused her to laugh again.
"Well beautiful, this laugh of yours is going to cost you now. Let’s have a bet, on who will complete the questions first?" I said throwing a challenge which I already knew I was about to lose.
"What does the winner get?" She asked, her voice full of confidence.
"If I win, I will take you to our first date at a place of your choice, and if you win, I will take you to our first date of my choice." As I said that, everything stopped for a few seconds. I don’t even know why I said that. I wasn’t even thinking about it, it just came out of my mouth involuntarily. I just asked her out on a date over phone. My heart, my breathing, everything got jammed as I now waited for her reply.
"Don’t you think you said it the other way?"
"No, believe me beautiful; you will love to go to the place of my choice, so that’s what you are going to win from me." And it happened again, the words tumbling out of my mouth unknowingly, which I knew I would never regret. Bless my reflex speaking center, if there was anything as such.
"Deal. The bet is on. Let’s do it."
"You do realize, that you have agreed to go out on a date with me right?"
"Jacob, we have already achieved the step which usually comes after a few dates. We are a couple, I would love going on a date with you."
"Well, then let's begin. I need to try to win the bet too."
"Yeah. It’s 5:25 right now. Let’s begin five minutes later. Bye Jacob."
"I love you Beautiful. And no cheating," I chuckled.
"I never cheat and I will win this bet."
"We will see. Bye."
"I love you too hawtie, Bye," I heard before she hung up the phone immediately, possibly due to her face that would have gone red after calling me 'hawtie’ again. I smiled from ear to ear as I straightened myself in the chair staring at the wall clock, waiting for it to hit the starting mark.
Anne - I know, I am just not able to write the scenes down. Just entered 3rd year of my college. Will be getting back to posting chapters soon. I hope, I haven't lost you as my reader due to the delay. Keep reading. Enjoy. Take care.
Brianna - I know. Thanks for following my story, despite such a long wait. Richard is adorable, I know. I wish my own brother was somewhat like that too. Haha! Jokes apart. I hope you like this chapter. Thank you again, it is good to have your descriptive comments. Enjoy. Take care.